Monday, September 9th, 2019 Posted by Jim Thacker

Boris FX acquires Silhouette

Silhouette FX’s feature demo for Silhouette 7, the current version of its roto and paint tool. The firm has just been acquired by effects plugin and tracking software developer Boris FX.

Effects plugin developer Boris FX has acquired Academy Award-winning rotoscoping and paint tool Silhouette, along with its original developer Silhouette FX.

The firm has also acquired effects and photographic retouching plugin developer Digital Film Tools. Boris FX has not disclosed the financial terms of either deal.

The buyouts are the latest in an series, Boris FX having previously acquired Imagineer Systems, creator of the Mocha planar tracker, and rival effects plugin developer GenArts.

Buyout to increase frequency of updates for Silhouette, introduce new subscription options
Although it gets relatively little media coverage, Silhouette is a visual effects industry-standard tool for rotoscoping and roto paint work.

The software is used by major VFX facilities like Weta Digital and Framestore, on movies from 2005’s King Kong through to this year’s Avengers: Endgame.

Its co-creators, Paul Miller and Marco Paolini, both of whom now join Boris FX, won a Scientific and Technical Academy Award for their work on Silhouette earlier this year.

Silhouette is also a good fit with Boris FX’s existing tools, particularly planar tracking system Mocha Pro, the underlying technology for which Silhouette FX licensed in 2013.

“[The] acquisition is a natural next step to our continued growth strategy,” said Boris FX CEO Boris Yamnitsky. “Silhouette … highly complement[s] Mocha’s core strength in planar tracking and object removal.”

The buyout looks set to increase the frequency with which product updates are released, with Boris FX’s announcement noting that “Silhouette will adopt the Boris FX commitment to agile development with annual releases, annual support, and subscription options”.

No other changes are mentioned: with Boris FX’s previous acquisitions, the buyouts haven’t led to major increases in pricing, or the discontinuation of perpetual licences.

Acquisition of Digital Film Tools gives Boris FX a toehold in the photography market
In addition, Boris FX has acquired Digital Film Tools, developer of plugins including its eponymous suite of tools designed to simulate real-world camera lenses, filters and film stocks.

That puts it in the same market sector as Boris FX’s existing effects plugin suites, Continuum and Sapphire, both also designed for use with Adobe, Avid and Apple’s editing and compositing software.

The new territory, as far as Boris FX is concerned, is Digital Film Tools’ still image editing products, like masking tool EZ Mask, which is designed to work in Photoshop and Lightroom.

“DFT … has developed a loyal following in the professional photography market,” said Yamnitsky. “We look forward to collaborating on new product offerings for photography, film, and video.”

Read Boris FX’s announcement of its acquisition of Silhouette FX and Digital Film Tools